Hello, my name is David Payne, and I am the project director and a designer for the game Tellus. Currently our team is working hard on getting the final touches together for our first public demo of the game before we attend the Game Developers Conference next month. I wanted to take some time to present what the game is about, and where the ideas from the game were generated.
Tellus presents the world in a 3D space which includes a day and night cycle with stylized atmospheric effects. There are two key areas where players will interact with the game, a Planet View that allows players to easily scroll around the globe and the Region View that allows players to monitor the status of each region while choosing what to build and research.
Rather than rely on real-world political boundaries Tellus divides the earth into 19 regions along major geographical and demographic divisions. However, each region reflects its real-world level of development and population density. This demonstrates the advantages and disadvantages of each region and requires that players think carefully about their strategy to advance development around the world.
Tellus simulates on year for every minute in real time, though players may pause at any time. The game begins in January 2010 and runs through December 2049, a span of 40 years, so players can complete the game in about an hour (assuming the Pause button isn't used too often!) The period covered by the game avoids the uncertainties of predicting too far into the future, and the duration of the game encourages replay, allowing players to experiment so they can quickly see the results of different strategies.
How did it start?
The inspiration for the game was the IEEE Committee on Earth Observation's SAVEEARTHGAME competition. The contest rules stipulate that the game must be suitable for an international audience and be appropriate for a younger age group. It must incorporate real world Earth Observation data so that playing the game increases awareness and knowledge about Earth Observation systems and data, and their critical importance to addressing the big problems challenging humanity. The original concept for Tellus won the first phase of that contest, and is awaiting judgement in the second phase. You can find information here: Ieee-earth.org
We will have a playable version of Tellus available within a weeks time which will be available for download here on IndieDB, and playable on our website www.playtell.us [get it!?]
nice website name :3
Good luck & keep it up!
Thanks for the kind words. It's been a great learning experience working with so many people on this project, and as a whole the game is coming along really well.